#CIPDCoach14 – Coaching in Self Managed Learning

Now we’re hearing from Eric van der Does from Ikea. Eric spoke last year about how they brought internal coaching into Ikea and is now going to talk more about how this links to self-managed learning (SML).

Ikea’s built on a dream by creating a better everyday life for everyone at a low price.

To make the low price a reality, you need employees who can take responsibility for their own learning. The SML approach helps people see where they are, where they want to be and how they’re going to get there. Part of the SML activities include group activities where they see colleagues naturally coaching each other.

Even thought Ikea’s a fun place to work, this isn’t just for fun. Personal desires and ambitions need to fit with those of the org.

They set people up with the manager and facilitator / coach involved. Although the facilitator might be involved actively from the start, being clear about how the methodology works, they guide the group but the group often then takes their own responsibility and manage their own learning – active learning set approach. Managers need to be actively involved to show support of employee. And employee needs to take responsibility for their learning goals.

The groups are established with a positive, non-judgemental approach which is brilliant to enable trust to develop and individuals to feel safe to share because from the start they’re talking about where they’ve been and where they are now before moving on to where you want to be – at this stage they also get 1:1 coaching to understand what they’ve heard from tools such as 360’s – then they move forward to work in the group on their short-term learning needs. Although for many there could be years of development they see ahead.

The measures of success for Ikea can be seen with people being more clear about what they want in their life, & professionally, they’re aware of their strengths and weaknesses & that their time is best spent building on strengths while developing weaknesses so employees are doing jobs they’re more suited to and managers are more aware of these aspects. Although it’s hard to see a clear red thread to financials, they are seeing the stores involved in SML performing better!

Having started this in 2009 they’ve had more than 400 participants, supported by 48 facilitators. They’re mostly using for Hi-Po’s and Team Development. This feels like a theme emerging of a focus on Hi-Po’s. Although Freebridge, at the start of the day, seem to have fully integrated a coaching culture so coaching is an approach experienced by everyone – as well as being brought to benefit leadership development approaches. I wonder how these two could be combined more so that coaching is just in the culture AND self-managed learning is just the way it is for all……I think we’re on our way!


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